Our skiing adventures in Chamonix that had taken us to Italy on Thursday continued on Friday by us taking the cable car up to a place called Brevent-Flégère, and just as with all other French words and names I struggled with its pronunciation.
Down in the valley, it was all foggy from being inside a cloud, but on our way up the mountain we reached the sun and the view of the valley with its surrounding mountains (this time facing the frontside of Mont Blanc), was breathtakingly beautiful! I remember us saying that the views in Italy the day before were the best so far, but skiing in Brevent and Flegere that day definitely trumped that. Just like the rest of the days, we had the opportunity of having our guide with us. And although the final two days of our trip didn’t offer any more powder skiing I think all three of us would agree on that Friday and Saturday offered some of the best skiing adventures of our lives.
After skiing for a couple of hours we went back to our chalet to send Josefine off to the airport going back home to Sweden. Emma and I also packed up our things from the chalet to later check in to a hotel in the city centre with a balcony that offered us an amazing view of the mountains. After we had said our goodbyes to Josefine our guide took us to a new place, with a plan in mind that neither Emma nor I knew about. We were about to take the cable car up to a mountaintop called Grand Montets for some off-piste skiing down the glacier. And what happened after we took the cabin up to the very top is almost hard to explain.
For me, that afternoon offered the best combination of adrenaline and pure happiness. Once we reached the top, we fastened our ski boots and went down the slope with the most amazing views I had ever seen. Skiing off-piste in a place that required an experienced high mountain guide to show you the safe way down, and being on top of a glacier was an experience out of this world. Both Emma and I kept on screaming WOW and AMAZING all the way down, which our guide found very amusing! When driving back to our new hotel for the night we didn’t think it could get that much better, but little did we know about the adventures we were about to experience the day after. That night we went for dinner in town and later some drinks with newfound friends.
So, we have now come to the last day of our trip, the big finale. To briefly describe it, we spent our Saturday morning skiing down La Vallée Blanche, which is a 20 km long mountain off-piste ski route with a vertical descent of 2 700 m. In the afternoon, we went for lunch in Italy and flew a helicopter around the mountain tops of the Mont Blanc massif.
Early Saturday morning we got picked up to go to the cable car that was about to take us up to the very top in Chamonix called Aiguille du Midi, which is 3 842 m above sea level. We didn’t have time for the hotel breakfast, so we brought a few croissants for the car ride and as snacks for our long way down the glacier. Once reaching the top the view was unbelievable, and you could see as far and beyond the Matterhorn in Switzerland and Monterosa in Italy! After shooting as many photos and video clips as we had time to we got ourselves ready to face the first challenge of the day, walking the mountain ridge edge called the ”arête” with a 50-degree pitch on both sides to the place where we would start skiing.
It is safe to say that skiing down the glacier was the best skiing adventure I have ever had. The skiing was a bit tough at some parts, but the training we had done the previous days had left us well prepared. It’s hard to describe the experience itself, but the best part was probably when we were standing alone on the glacier looking over the mountains to Italy watching a bunch of Italians follow in our tracks, looking as small ants due to the far distance between us. But also when we went into this part of the route that almost felt like a ski park made by nature, which definitely was the most exciting but scariest part! To end our trip down La Vallée Blanche we went into this glacier museum before taking the Montenvers train down to town.
After only eating croissants in the morning we were really hungry when we drove through the tunnel to Italy for a great lunch (Italians truly know their cooking), before jumping into a helicopter to experience the Mont Blanc massif from above. This was my first time being in a helicopter but definitely and hopefully not the last. To be able to fly as close to the mountains as we did, and seeing the same place that we had skied down just a few hours earlier from above was something that I will never forget. All in all, the adventures we had that Saturday left me with memories that I will never forget!
It is safe to say that the experience we had in Chamonix during that second week of March has left an imprint on me. I realise that Emma, Josefine and I were extremely fortunate to be able to experience all the things that we did, and also in the way that we were able to do it. So, to our amazing guide and to the one person making it all possible – thank you for giving us an experience of a lifetime, and also for giving me back the love for skiing. Hopefully, this was just the beginning of many more ski adventures to come, and I can’t wait for the next one!
Chamonix photos & edits by Emma.
PS. Don’t miss out to watch the vlogs on my YouTube-channel! (www.youtube.com/mariathepilot)